Where does Japan put its nuclear reactors?

While a large literature exists on the siting of controversial facilities, few theories about spatial location have been tested on large samples. Using a new dataset from Japan, this paper demonstrates that state agencies choose localities judged weakest in local civil society as host communities for controversial projects. In some cases, powerful politicians deliberately seek to have facilities such as nuclear power plants, dams, and airports placed in their home constituency. This paper then explores new territory: how demographic, political, and civil society factors impact the outcomes of siting attempts. It finds that the strength of local civil society impacts the probability that a proposed project will come to fruition; the greater the concentration of local civil society, the less likely state-planned projects will be completed.

From a 2008 article by political scientist Daniel Aldrich. Hat tip to John Sides at Monkey Cage, who gives links to several other related papers, books, etc.

Dan Aldrich is a man who’s time has come.